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Lucia Farinati

Research project: Audio Arts Archive: From Inventory Space to Imagined Space


Audio Arts (1973-2007) was established by artist William Furlong and writer Barry Barker in 1973 as a magazine of contemporary art on tape cassette. Focused on speech and artists' voices Audio Arts expanded the traditional scope of a printed magazine from the representation of art works into an alternative space for art. The research's aims are twofold: first it examines the multifaceted history of the sound magazine by highlighting the relationship between the editorial, curatorial and artistic activity developed by Furlong and his collaborators under this framework. Secondly it investigates the tension between inventory space and imagined space, by examining the relationship between the re-organisation of Audio Arts Archive (since its acquisition in 2004 by Tate) and the way it was used creatively by Furlong in the production of new sound works. Through a curatorial project in collaboration with Tate Archive, I will explore how listening to (and within) the archive could be considered a form of engagement between the two spaces, acting as both an archival methodology and a creative tool for the active participation of an audience. By imagining the life of the Audio Arts Archive beyond its inventory, I seek to establish a creative space for collaborative research through the contribution of new conversations and performative acts. My overarching research questions are: how can an archive be defined in relation to an artists' practice? How is an archive active rather than the ultimate trace of previous activity? The research will provide a unified methodology for understanding the complex legacy of Audio Arts, a legacy, I will argue, that lies at the intersection of sound art, oral history, curatorial practice and art criticism, and represents in this sense an original contribution to knowledge both in the history of contemporary art, audio and visual culture in an expanded field.

  • Research degree: Practice-based PhD
  • Title of project: Audio Arts Archive: From Inventory Space to Imagined Space
  • Research supervisor: Professor Fran Lloyd
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Chris Horrocks


I am a researcher, curator and activist. I was an interviewer for Audio Arts (2005-7) and have curated a series of key exhibitions presenting William Furlong's soundworks (Sound Art Museum, Rome 2006; Plymouth Arts Centre, 2006/7; Flat Time House, London 2010; Villa Romana, Florence 2013). In collaboration with Furlong I organized the symposium Active Archive, British School at Rome (2006) and also contributed to the symposium Off the Record: The history and legacy of Audio Arts Magazine on contemporary art, Tate Britain (2012). Since 2007 I have worked under the collective name Sound Threshold, a curatorial project that explores the relationships between site, sound and text. Since 2010 I have been working with the Precarious Workers Brigade collective, shifting from a production oriented practice into participatory action research, and expanding my interest in sound from the curation of site-specific projects into the analysis of voice and listening as a political practice.

Areas of research interest

  • contemporary art
  • dialogic aesthetics
  • sound and listening
  • feminism
  • art and activism
  • performative archives
  • participatory action research
  • cooperativization and commoning


  • 2004 MA Creative Curating, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
  • 1996 Laurea in Lettere moderne (110 e lode:100% cum laude – equivalent first class B.A. Hons. Italian Literature with distinction) Faculty of Humanities, University of Trento, Italy. Final dissertation Cultural policy for contemporary art and young artists, 250 pgs

Funding or awards received

  • Kingston studentship 2016-2019
  • KSA Faculty Research, Event and Conference Fund 2016-2017
  • Graduate Research School Activity Support Fund 2017-18
  • KSA Faculty Research, Event and Conference Fund 2018-2019



Farinati, L., and C. Firth. 2017. The Force of Listening. Berlin, Errant Bodies Press. ISBN: 978 09978744-0-2

Cascella, D., and L. Farinati, eds. 2010. Cut and Splice: Transmission, Wilton's Music Hall, London. 4 –6 November 2010. London: Sound and Music, BBC Radio 3. ISBN 9781907378034

Books Sections

Farinati, L. 2013. Architectures/Fictions/Re-enactments. In Ursula Mayer - But We Loved Her, eds. A. Husslein-Arco, B. Steinbrügge and U. Blickle, 170-172. Wien: Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg GmbH. ISBN: 9783902805348

Farinati, L. 2009. Public art in the UK. Cues and reflections on the "Found Wanting" project. In Public art a Trieste e dintorni., eds. M. Campitelli, E. Vladilo, 189-191. Milan: Silvana Editoriale. ISBN 9788836613106.

Farinati, L. 2007. William Furlong: Audio Arts. In Annisettanta. il decennio lungo del secolo breve, eds. M. Belpoliti, G. Canova and S. Chiodi. Milan: Skira. ISBN 9788861301757

Conference papers


The Artist Interview: an interdisciplinary approach to its history, process and dissemination; a session co-convened for the Association for Art History Annual Conference -  Brighton, 6 April 2019 (forthcoming)

Listen and tell: dialogic strategies for activating the archive, a paper for the conferenceActivating the Archive. Feminist Politics, Artistic Strategies, as part of Flashpoint, Goldsmiths University, 28 February 2019 (unpublished)


Practices of Listening at the intersection of art and activism, paper for the conference The Politics of Listening, School of Arts and Media, University of NSW, Sydney, 29 November 2018 (unpublished)

From Carla Lonzi to the Force of Listening: voice and listening in dialogic practices, London College of Communication, London, Visiting speaker, 29 November 2018 (unpublished)

Listening Politics, chair and paper for the international sound festival Tuned City, Messene, Greece, 1 June 2018 (unpublished)

Listening in Solidarity, Listening in Disagreement, workshop and presentation, Glasgow International, Mitchell, Library Glasgow, 4-7 May 2018 (unpublished)

Activating the Audio Arts Archive: From Inventory Space to Imagined Space, in Life on the Outskirts Symposium: inspiration and interventions in small creative archives, Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, 9th February 2018 (unpublished)


Activating the Audio Arts Archive: From Inventory Space to Imagined Space, in Unpacking the Archive: Methodologies and Challenges in Design History, 24 March 2017, Royal College of Art, London (unpublished)

The Force of Listening, in Giving Life to Politics: The Work of Adriana Cavarero, CAPPE, University of Brighton, 19 – 21 June 2017 (unpublished)

Three textual interferences in response to Sophie Sleigh Johnson's work, in Flashpoint 1, Immurement, Art Research Seminar 1, Goldsmiths University of London, Department of Art, 5 October 2017 (unpublished)

La vocalità tra arte e politica: da Carla Lonzi alle pratiche dialogiche contemporanee, in La Lotta per il Teatro, IUAV University, Venice 19-20 October 2017 (unpublished)

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